Susan Robin Bender

Susan, circa 1986; Age-progression to age 45 (circa 2015); Raymond Lewis Stafford

  • Missing Since 04/25/1986
  • Missing From Modesto, California
  • Classification Non-Family Abduction
  • Sex Female
  • Race Biracial, Hispanic, Native American, White
  • Date of Birth 11/27/1970 (53)
  • Age 15 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5, 130 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A light blue skirt with multi-colored dots, a light-colored blouse, a white vest and a gold bracelet.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Full-sized olive-green 1977 Ford van
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Multiracial female. Black hair, brown eyes. Susan has freckles. Her ears are pierced. She is of Caucasian, Hispanic and Native American descent.

Details of Disappearance

Susan left her family's home in Modesto, California on April 25, 1986 to stay with friends in Carmel, California. She was last seen at the former Greyhound bus depot on 10th Street and G Street in Modesto, making a phone call. Susan did not board a bus; instead, she was seen entering a full-sized olive-green 1977 Ford van outside of the station during the day. Susan has never been seen again.

Susan's diary, address book and some items of her clothing were located at a suspect's home after she vanished. The person was questioned by investigators, but released due to a lack of evidence.

In August 2023, 76-year-old Raymond Lewis Stafford was arrested in Texas and charged with murder in Susan's case. Her mother had worked at his security business, and it was his rental van which Susan had been seen getting into at the bus stop. Shortly after Susan's disappearance, Stafford allegedly told an employee he had strangled a woman to death with a cord or wire and buried her body near Yosemite National Park. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.

Foul play is suspected in Susan's case; it remains unsolved.

Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 27, 2023; three pictures added, details of disappearance updated.